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24 responses to “OFGEM plan to outlaw green electricity tariffs.”

    • Damon Hart-Davis

      So, what are you going to do about it?

      Have you got some words that we can send to Ofgem and/or our M[E]Ps, etc?



    • Simon

      What a complete load of nonsense. ‘Green’ electricity has always been in my opinion a tariff which either supplies you with electricity from renewable sources or is involved in investing in new build of renewables.

      Is this actually final or will they be consulting the public or energy companies on this?

      Couldn’t the argument be made that you are carbon offsetting by building new renewable generation 🙂

    • Kev

      What the **** ?!

      I thought Carbon Offsetting was one of those stone aged ideas we ditched along with Biofuels!! (Oh no wait a minute, we didn’t ditch Biofuels did we!) On account of the fact that a tree will only absorb the tonne of carbon (on average) over many years .. IF it lives a full life – which is increasingly unlikely under our ‘glorious’ Labour ‘build on everything’ govt!!

      So who’s paying Ofgems wages these days then? British Gas?

      Independent my *** !

    • nommo

      shocking.. I am *almost* speechless..
      So where does this leave our governments renewable energy targets? What incentives are the big six expecting to get started on a serious building drive? Surely it wont be down to ecotricity alone to change the way electricity is made in the uk? It makes me reach for my tin foil hat – but there is still a chance it is just stupidity…
      Anyway – sustainable/renewable energy always sounded better than green energy to me 🙂

    • Chris

      The best way to fight this Dale is to release a full page advert in the national press! Make it a talking point! ..

      “OFGEM supports green ducking & diving.”

      “Here are the REAL figures behind true green investment”

      I try to pass on your which green site to whoever wants to listen, but there’s only so much word of mouth can achieve.

    • Ted Marynicz

      Dale, I’m confused. When I read that OFGEM press release about a month ago I saw it as ‘a good thing’ based on their statement that simply spening money from ROCs and CERTs would no longer be enough for a tariff to be considered ‘green’ and that ‘additionality’ would need to be proved.

      I presume you now have more information on the proposed “Independent body” whose job it will be to accredit green tariffs?

    • Stuart

      Hey this is an opportunity – not a threat. Green Electricity is a nonsense. My leccy is colourless and it needs to appeal to a market beyond the sandal eating lentil eaters.

      Call it what it really is: ‘Low Carbon Electricity’

      Then you get what you buy – less carbon released which is quite different to trying to mop it up.

      ‘Green’ is already discredited because being vague – any strange interpretation can be in the can as Ofgem have wonderfully demonstrated.

    • Phil

      Poor environmental policy management in government? Surely not! Dumbing down tarrifs for us peasents? Good lord!

      Having read the press releases, they seem overly simplified and a bit vague. They do seem more concerned with the “touchy feely” angle to addressing climate change because they know that the average Joe connects more with a planted tree than a bit of wind (so to speak). Re-education!

      Like any government department, they will learn slow and act slower, we can only hope it doesn’t end up being too little too late.

      Once again though, the apathy of the masses might ensure that this doesn’t get the scathing attention it deserves.

    • Damon Hart-Davis

      Hi Dale,

      I’ll think about who to lobby in government, since for example I didn’t get so much as a polite acknowledgement of my existence from Mr Woolas, but OTOH I have spoken to some fairly reasonable people inside Ofgem…

      Another idea for you, BTW, that a uni researcher and I brewed up over email in the last few days:

      Have you considered approaching NG and Ofgem to see if they would be interested in a pilot, within existing grid codes, where they apply explicit (voltage based) demand reduction at expected peaks *this winter* even where they otherwise expect to have enough generation available? [Given probable seasonal and daily variation in kg CO2 / kWh, might knock a decent fraction of a % off all electricity-related CO2 emissions instantly.]

      BTW, I hope you’ll do a smart ToD/HH/dynamic metering trial I can join soon, pref that incorporates CO2 element over and above the common wholesale rate + margin, because I’d definitely like to be able to see how to minimise CO2 emissions day-by-day. And then of course buying my PV energy *might* be worthwhile as with any 2-way system you’d know what I was tricking in, and generally at times of high wholesale prices…



    • Damon Hart-Davis


      Yes, exactly so.

      That was one of the demand-reduction tools that NG used when Sizewell tripped in May.

      About 570MW of power was cut entirely for about half an hour, but more than double that demand was kept off with voltage reduction so far as I understand NG’s own report.



    • Damon Hart-Davis

      Note: the voltage to end users is reduced, not necessarily in transmission, etc.



    • Rob

      So Friends of the Earth’s autumn comic says that Good Energy have “the only 100% Green” tariff”… Is this the start of these dodgy claims? Seems certain folk around here have a greener 100% green tariff.
      Ho Hum.

    • nommo

      What’s this comic of which you speak Rob?

      BTW – I was looking at GE’s site recently – I noticed this link to their ‘current’ generation projects.

      Isn’t it amazing that they can supply all their business and domestic customers with an exclusive 100% green tariff by building so little in terms of generation..?

      “Good Energy Generation owns a wind farm in Delabole and has made an investment in Bro Dyfi Community Renewables.”

      It continues:

      “The wind farm site at Delabole has been generating electricity to the local electricity distribution network since 1991. The site comprises ten (10) 400kW wind turbines, whose production figures of the last 10 years show average annual generation of 10,000MWh, which is sufficient to supply the equivalent domestic energy needs of 3,000 homes annually, based on electricity usage of 3,300kWh per household.”

      They also ‘invested’ in a 500kW community owned Bro Dyfi turbine near CAT in Wales…

      It’s a bit early for doing the maths – but at over 25,000 – their customers are around 9 times their stated generation capacity… there is no-where that I can find on their websites that explains how the shortfall is filled… apart from hints of microgeneration…

    • Rob

      FoE comic: Earthmatters. Their action magazine that drops through my letterbox quarterly. Usually includes a selection of campaign info, MP bothering recomendations, etc. But with this issue recommending signing up to a paler green electricy supplier I’m wondering how accurate their other info is.
      I left my copy at work – I’ll being it home next week and start bothering them about their accuracy.

    • Rob

      Complaint sent to FOE 30 Sept 2008:

      “EarthMatters, Iss 71 Autumn 2008

      I must admit to being rather shocked by the current issue of EarthMatters. FOE is the last organisation I’d expect to be pushing any company in exchange for 13 pieces of silver.
      The article “Switch to Good Energy” promotes ‘Good Energy’, which, coincidentally is offering £30 cash donation to FOE for each member who signs up. However the article contains gross technical inaccuracies, such as the statement “Good Energy is the only UK electricity supplier to offer 100 per cent renewable energy.” – This is blatently untrue. Ecotricity have offered a 100% green domestic tarrif for several years and I have been using it. I’m sure other suppliers are also offering 100% green tarrifs for varying degrees of ‘greeness’.
      Further the article makes it clear that Good Energy are not even in the business of generating the green energy that they sell, primarily they are just in the ‘me too’ business of buying up general market ‘green’ electricy and passing it on for a premium. This is not progressing Green Energy. I’d much rather have my money with a supplier who both offering a 100% green tarrif AND is investing in future green infrastructure. That supplier is not ‘Good Energy’.

      As an FOE supporter I rely on FOE to provide accurate and true environmental information in areas where I have no specialist knowledge. To find such gross errors in an area where I do have experience casts significant doubt on all information from FOE.
      I will expect a correction to these inaccuracies in the next issue of Earthmatters.
      Please do better.

    • Rob

      Hi Dale,

      At they’re claiming 24% renewable content for Ecotricity (obviously ignoring ‘New Energy Plus’ tariff). Ecotricity web page claims 30% and rising renewable in the ‘New Energy’ tarrif. I’m thinking this looks like an ASA issue that I can raise – can you confirm the current Ecotricity stats?



    • Adi

      Hi folks,

      The FMD does actually make things a bit clearer see for a list of where companies electricity really comes from.

      What it doesn’t say is the proportion of turnover or profit which goes towards renewable new build and I agree with Dale this is the crucial need in society: i.e. building new renewable capacity (and building it quickly).

      I think there is some call for a second column in the FMD which describes the “proportion” of profits which went into New Build. This would illustrate if a large company which is building some wind turbines is really as committed to renewable energy (as a couple of turbines could be bugger all to its profits) OR it would also show if a small company which may have only one turbine built but is going flat out to do all it can on building a second one.

      The individual consumer could then use their consumer power and choose whether they are prepared to support (be a customer) with a company which maybe making most of its money from
      Fossil fuels or Nuclear but then adds a large amount to invest in renewable energy OR not be associated with companies which deal in fossil fuel based electricity at all : i.e. not supporting = not being part of the problem philosophy – OR any cross-over between the two.

      Anyhow, the concept of “proportionate” investment into new renewables- (however that is done – i.e. turnover, profit, percentage of customer bills etc) basically illustrates the level of commitment to renewable energy and would really compliment the FMD to give the consumer a fuller picture of where to direct their consumer power so as to support the right thing.

      (could be called the RMC =Renewable Mix Commitment?)

      I only just thought of this, so not sure if its come up before as an idea – apologies if it has.

      It needs refining but a description of “proportionate” investment seems a fairer way to describe commitment to green new buiild than say than absolute new build (as a huge company would win that but not necessarily be more committed).

      What do you think?